SF General Hospital
Bldg 1 Rm 300
San Francisco, CA 94110
Do You Believe Them?
"...no one can match the alcohol industry's long-term commitment to public-service advertising that discourages underage drinking, along with warning adults to drink responsibly."
--Jeff Perlman, Executive Vice President - Government Affairs and General Counsel, American Advertising Federation, Dec. 19, 2002.
Family Sues Anheuser-Busch and Miller for Marketing Dangerous Alcohol
Products to Children and Young People.
Reed Goodwin lost their daughter Casey, a 20-year-old student, when an
underage drunk driver crashed into and killed her (Learn
about Casey's story). Fed up with the irresponsible marketing practices
of the alcohol industry, the Goodwins, have filed a class action lawsuit
based on California's unfair competition and public nuisance laws against
Anheuser-Busch and Miller, alleging that these companies are intentionally
and illegally targeting underage youth and promoting underage
drinking with their alcohol products, particularly with their "alcopop"
drinks--flavored, sweet beverages such as Anheuser-Busch's Doc Otis' Hard
Lemon Malt Beverage and Miller's Jack Daniel's Original Hard Cola which come
in brightly colored packages that are attractive to young people. The suit's
aim is to stop this reckless and deliberate marketing to underage young
The lawsuit asks that both Miller
and Anheuser-Busch stop marketing alcohol to children and young people,
account for the profits made from alcohol sales to underage young people,
and pay appropriate restitution.
are the Effects of Alcohol Marketing on Children and Young People?
- One study found that children from the ages 9 to 11
were more readily familiar with Anheuser-Busch's Budweiser frogs than
with Kellogg's Tony the Tiger, the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, or
Smokey the Bear. (1)
- Underage drinking is a significant public health problem in the United States and accounted for approximately 3,500 deaths and $53 billion in health and social costs in
1996.(2) Youth exposure to alcohol marketing predicts awareness of alcohol
advertising (3), which in turn influences youth intentions to drink as well as drinking
- The Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth found that, in 2001, youth in the United States were 93 times more likely to see an ad promoting alcohol than an industry ad discouraging underage
drinking.(5) In fact, compared to underage youth, adults age 21 and over were more than twice as likely to see advertising discouraging underage
- Underage drinkers consume about 12% of all the alcohol purchased in the Unites States, or 3.6 billion drinks annually, with the vast majority of it consumed in a risky fashion.
- Furthermore, our nation's youth report that it is not hard to get access to alcohol. Nearly twenty five percent of 6th graders report that it is "fairly easy" to "very easy" to get beer, while 26.5% of 12th graders report that their access to beer is "fairly easy" with 52.4% reporting "very easy."
For More Information
Goodwin Web site
Center on Alcohol
Marketing and Youth (CAMY)
for Science in the Public Interest's Alcopops info
Youth Alcohol Promotion Litigation
(1) L. Leiber, Commercial and Character Slogan Recall by Children Aged 9 to 11 Years: Budweiser Frogs versus Bugs Bunny (Berkeley: Center on Alcohol Advertising, 1996).
(2) Bonnie RJ and O’Connell ME, eds. Reducing underage drinking: a collective responsibility. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2003.
(3) Collins RL, Schell T, Ellickson PL, McCaffrey D. Predictors of beer advertising awareness among eighth graders. Addiction 2003;98:1297-1306.
(4) Martin SE, Snyder LB, Hamilton M, Fleming-Milici F, Slater MD, Stacy A, Chen M-J, Grube JW. Alcohol advertising and youth. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 2002;26:900-906.
(5) Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth, “Alcohol Commercials Bowl Over Responsibility Ads,” (3 February 2003), (Accessed 19 Nov 2003).
(6) Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth, Drops in the Bucket, Alcohol Industry “Responsibility” Advertising on Television in 2001 (Washington, DC: Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth, 2003),
(7) OJJDP. "Drinking in America: Myths, Realities, and Prevention Policy
(8) PRIDE Questionnaire Report: 2001-02 National Summary, Grades 6 through 12. Parents Resource Institute for Drug Education.